These instructions are for patients who are suspected to have COVID-19, but who do not require hospitalization based on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, and may continue care at home.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, is a new respiratory disease that spreads mainly from person-to-person.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure and can include fever, cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Fortunately, most people have mild symptoms and do not require hospitalization.
Who is at risk for COVID-19?
Those at greatest risk of infection are persons who have been in close contact with a confirmed or symptomatic patient, or those who have been to areas with sustained transmission.
What should I do if I get a fever or mild symptoms?
It’s important to keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill may be able to isolate and care for themselves at home.
What do I do now?
- Rest, drink plenty of fluids, and monitor your symptoms at home.
- Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home as much as possible, using a separate bathroom if available.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes and then immediately wash your hands.
- WASH YOUR HANDS often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Do not share personal items with others, such as drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils or towels. After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.
- Clean hard surfaces daily with antibacterial/anti-germicidal solutions such as Lysol or Clorox. See the CDC’s Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations for additional guidance.
How long should I stay at home?
Avoid public places and do not return to work or school UNTIL 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery – defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications AND improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) AND 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. Avoid interaction with elderly family members and those with long term medical problems such as heart, lung, kidney, or liver disease as they are high risk for serious illness if they were to contract COVID-19.
What should I do if I develop shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or more significant symptoms?
Call your physician or seek medical care immediately.
Why am I not being tested for COVID-19?
We are following CDC guidance to test only those severely ill or high-risk patients with symptoms of COVID-19 in a hospital setting while tests remain in short supply. A positive test does not change the course of the illness. It’s important to keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19, and people who are mildly ill should self- isolate, practice social distancing and care for themselves at home.
If you are worried but don’t have symptoms, please stay home. Going to a doctor’s office or hospital adds to a higher concentration of people and further overwhelms the medical staff.
What if my symptoms worsen?
While you are able to go home today, if you develop worsening shortness of breath, confusion, severe weakness, or other concerning symptoms, seek medical treatment again.
Where can I get more information about COVID-19?